When I was in seminary, I was surrounded by guys who thought that they were embarking on the “hightest calling.”
That is, they were training to be pastors. And all of the seminary culture reinforced this belief – that being a pastor, i.e. leading a church was the absolute most important thing we could do. Of all the “good” choices of occupation, this was the best.
Now that I’m a teacher, I find myself commonly among people who consider their profession the “highest calling.”
“Strange,” I thought. Didn’t these people get the memo that pastors had the highest calling? But there they are, in all of their audacity, believing that educating the next generation is the most important thing.
And then there are some parents, perhaps who I find myself in the company of, or whose blogs and Facebook posts I read. And wouldn’t you know it, a good deal of parents think that parenting is the highest calling. How could there be anything more important than raising the next generation? And like teachers and pastors, there are plenty of other parents who reinforce that belief.
The thing that I’ve learned is that the language of “highest calling,” contrary to building everyone up, is actually, positively poisonous to everyone, no matter what vocation or life stage we find ourselves in.
This is why.